Worship Guide - Christmas Eve

Worship Guide

December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve

 

Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World

 

ENTRANCE WITH PRAISE

 

Greetings:

 

Minister:    The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People:     And also with you!

 

Hymn: “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”

 

It came upon the midnight clear,

that glorious song of old,

from angels bending near the earth,

to touch their harps of gold;

“Peace on the earth, good will to men,

from heaven’s all gracious King."

The world in solemn stillness lay,

to hear the angels sing.

 

Still through the cloven skies they come

with peaceful wings unfurled,

and still their heavenly music floats

o’er all the weary world;

above its sad and lowly plains,

they bend on hovering wing,

and ever o'er its Babel sounds

the blessed angels sing.

 

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load,

whose forms are bending low,

who toil along the climbing way

with painful steps and slow,

look now! for glad and golden hours

come swiftly on the wing.

O rest beside the weary road,

and hear the angels sing!

 

For lo! the days are hastening on,

by prophet seen of old,

when with the ever circling years

shall come the time foretold

when peace shall over all the earth

its ancient splendors fling,

and the whole world send back the song

which now the angels sing.

 

 

*Call to Worship:

 

Leader:   Christ is born; give him glory!

People:   Christ has come down from heaven; receive him! Christ is now on earth; exalt him!

Leader:   O you earth, sing to the Lord!

People:  O you nations, praise him in joy, for he has been glorified.

 

Lighting of the Advent Candles

 

Candle of Hope: Psalm 46:1-11

 

God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,

though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

though its waters roar and foam,

though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

God will help it when the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

he utters his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the LORD;

see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

he burns the shields with fire.

 “Be still, and know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations,

I am exalted in the earth.”

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

 

This is the Candle of Hope!

 

Candle of Peace: Isaiah 35:1-10

 

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

 

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

 

A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

 

This is the Candle of Peace!

 

Candle of Joy: Philippians 2:5-11

 

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

 

Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

This is the Candle of Joy!

 

Candle of Love: Luke 1:67-79

 

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

 

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.

 

He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.

 

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.

 

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

This is the Candle of Love!

 

Special Music: “Here with Us”  Stefanie

 

The Service of the Nativity

 

Mary’s Story Luke 1:26-38

 

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

Joseph’s Story Matthew 1:18-25

 

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

 

“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

  which means, “God is with us.”

 

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

 

Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem Luke 2:1-5

 

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of  David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

 

Hymn: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”

 

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;

above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

 

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,

while mortals sleep, the angels keep

their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together proclaim the holy birth,

and praises sing to God the King, and peace to all on earth!

 

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given;

So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,

where meek souls will receive him still,

the dear Christ enters in.

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

 

Jesus’ Birth  Luke 2:6-7

 

While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

 

Lighting of the Christ Candle

 

This is the Candle of Light and the symbol of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, who said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

 

Matthew 1:22-23

 

All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

  which means, “God is with us.”

 

Hymn: “Joy to the World”

 

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

let every heart prepare him room,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven and nature sing,

and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

 

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let all their songs employ;

while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

 

No more let sins and sorrows grow,

nor thorns infest the ground;

he comes to make his blessings flow

far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found,

far as, far as, the curse is found.

 

He rules the world with truth and grace,

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders, of his love.

 

The Shepherds’ Story  Luke 2:8-16

 

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,

 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

 

 

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.

 

The Magi’s Story Matthew 2:1-12

 

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

 

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

 

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

 

CELEBRATION OF LIGHT

 

The Light  John 1:1-5, 9-14

 

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

 

9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

 

10 He was in the world, and the world came into  being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

 

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

 

Hymn: “Silent Night”

 

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright

round yon virgin mother and child.

Holy infant, so tender and mild,

sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

 

Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight;

glories stream from heaven afar,

heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!

Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

 

Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love’s pure light;

radiant beams from thy holy face

with the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

 

Silent night, holy night wondrous star, lend thy light;

with the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King;

Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!

 

¨ Benediction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
  February 2023  
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